Ryan Tanke will lead ticket sales strategy at the Minnesota Timberwolves after being appointed chief operating officer – 22 years after he began his working life as an intern in the NBA team’s ticket office.

Tanke, who switches from his role as chief revenue officer, will oversee the organisation’s sectors of sales and service including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, premium seating, business intelligence and fan experience.

During his time as chief revenue officer he led the franchise’s transition to 100 per cent digital ticketing.

Tanke first joined the Timberwolves as an intern in the ticket sales area in 1997 and has held several positions throughout his tenure including SVP of tickets and premium seating, corporate sales manager and manager of inside sales.

“Ryan Tanke has been an integral part of our organisation for many years,” said Minnesota Timberwolves chief executive Ethan Casson.

“His capacity to adjust to the ever-changing environment of professional sports, his willingness to challenge the norm in everything we do, and his infectious leadership style position Ryan to be very successful in this newly appointed role.

“I look forward to continue working alongside him as we create a world-class culture that brings success and pride to our staff, fans, partners and community.”

During his tenure at the Timberwolves, Tanke has been pivotal in the renovation of the 19,000-capacity Target Center. He garnered double-digit increases in business performance during each of the past three years.